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I can feel a stone stuck in the bottom of my shoe and I’m concerned about it scraping the tiles. As soon as I can lean on the wall, I pull it out. The weather in Franschhoek‘s been icy and boots are a must in the drizzly weather, but the troublesome stone presents a hazard to the tiled cottage, which I’m keen to avoid.
As soon as I get the stone out, I release the tight laces and unzip my boots. Outside may be perfect for boots, but indoors – this is a house for slippers.
A Weekend at the Sandstone House Cottage
This is the Sandstone cottage; a large, luxury, two bedroom house adjacent to the Sandstone House. Dean, Tracey, AJ and I spent 2 nights in the Franschhoek wine valley to enjoy the house in the heart of winter.
The cottage hallway is flanked by a scullery on the right and restroom on the left. The central quarters open up to a sitting room and a kitchen. The sitting room is contained by a server holding up a Dylan Lewis sculpture and tubular textured lamp. All sofas give the oven-style fireplace their undivided attention, while an ottoman displays celebrity gossip mags and beautiful photo books.
Heart of the Home
The kitchen centers around a dining room table, the hub of our food preparation and tech problem-solving quarters. Fully equipped with high quality appliances and crockery, the kitchen ensures visiting cooks are as nimble here as they are at home. On the menu? LA Farms lamb osso bucco and, in the morning, eggs benedict with the best poacher I’ve ever used!
After a few hours in the cottage, everyone seems to find their rhythm. As vape clouds pass the conservatory, the indoor braai area becomes AJ’s favourite room for the easy access to the garden.
The lounge becomes Tracey’s cosy zone as she flips through Hello Magazines and watches as I pot around the kitchen. I’m impressed by the poachers that produce the most beautiful eggs. Who knew it could make such a difference?
Dean’s zone is the great outdoors. The only one to keep up his fitness routine; the Sandstone Estate offers the perfect evening wintery run and lawn workout areas with enough hot water to wash off the sweaty chill.
The Sandstone House cottage has the most faultless bedroom setup we’ve experienced to date. The suite includes an integrated fridge with coffee station, bedside plugs, TV with working remotes and DSTV (satellite), a writing table with vanity mirror, USB plugs and a switch panel that is labelled and clear to use. There are sliding doors that allow morning light into the room, once the blackout curtains are pulled back. We are a big couple and we slept perfectly in this bed. Large bed for large people!
En Suite Bathrooms
An en suite bathroom flanks either side of the house and provides both privacy and functionality for guests. The main suite has a slightly larger bathroom, yet both include a full length bath, shower and wc. A clerestory window provides extra, natural light for easy makeup application and beauty routines – even in winter. The bathroom walls, however, do not reach the ceiling so if you’re prudish this may not be ideal.
Our personal crowning feature of the bathroom is the Swiss windows. It was only on the second day that we realised they were Swiss and then the quizzing began! Do you open them horizontally or vertically?
Perfectly the norm in Europe, these dual windows are rare in South Africa and always send us into a state of glee at the ingenious design. They also deliver the most spectacular in-shower views of the mountains; a moving picture to show off the glory of Franschhoek.
Underfloor heating ensure the cosiness of your shower (or bath) isn’t interrupted and the large windows allow for natural light for your beauty routine.
Our Experience at the Sandstone House Cottage
While Friday night saw us drinking the Sandstone House red wine (R160) with our osso bucco around the indoor braai area, on Saturday we were given a tour of the main Sandstone House with owner, Clive. More commonly used as a wedding venue, Clive and his family take up residence during the off season should the house be vacant.
Late Saturday afternoon was spent tucking into a home made cheese board while listening to music and watching the ever changing light shift over the Franschhoek valley. The night descended into relaxing around the lounge’s fireplace, wagyu burgers and movies in bed after 10pm.
We had a wonderful stay at the Sandstone House and highly recommend the cottage for a weekend away. Most suitable for 2 couples, the house has everything needed for a self-catering stay in the winelands.
The rates vary depending on the season, but do have a minimum 2 night stay. I highly recommend you visit now before demand increases with the reopening of international borders – this venue isn’t going to sit empty for very long!
Owen, the house manager, offered the most amazing support both during and after our visit as I had left my mobile charger at the house and had to organise someone to collect it. Any other queries I had about the home, he was quick to respond with accurate and helpful information.
About Sandstone House
Sandstone House is a private residence in the Franschhoek Valley. Available for hire for weddings and private events, the owner is a property developer with an eye for functional spaces.
With current Covid regulations, the venue is available for small weddings up to 40, however, is also available for larger numbers under normal circumstances.
Wedding rates for 40 pax Special until December 13th start at R26,000, which includes 3 rooms for 1 night. Set up Saturday and breakdown Sunday.